For many spouses in a troubled marriage, a divorce serves as a way to start life over. The process could come with challenges, especially financial ones. When two incomes support a household for several years, the shift to a single-income life may be difficult. Spousal support, often referred to as alimony might help a financially struggling spouse deal with newly single status. North Carolina statutes guide how the family court awards such support.
Guiding factors for spousal support
Earning capacity plays a role in how the courts award spousal support. In an attempt to maintain an equitable agreement, the court could determine a spouse with lesser earning potential will receive a particular sum. If one spouse makes only a fraction of what the other spouse does, the financial strain of post-divorce life might be too much to bear. Spousal support may alleviate some financial burdens.
Equitable does not always mean a 50/50 split, and one spouse’s malfeasance could result in additional awards, including more significant spousal support amounts. The courts could take a dim view of abusive or adulterous behavior.
Other elements of spousal support awards
A judge could review a broad range of factors when making spousal support determinations. Even a spouse’s education level may count towards calculations since education contributes to earning capacity.
A spouse’s status as a caregiver to children in the home might impact alimony awards. Perhaps separate child support awards may influence spousal support judgments as well.
The courts could review a multitude of issues, even ones related to debts and taxes. During divorce proceedings, spouses seeking alimony might benefit from providing a full accounting of financial needs and obligations. Doing so may lead to a favorable decision.